The Opal of the Hills is hard to find.
It’s rarely where its seekers daily pass
But wanders with the wind, on paths that wind
Through cliff and cave, among the trees and grass.
At dawn of day, they say, it may be found
Along the shoreline of the northern lake.
At noon, upon the peaks. At dusk, around
The cliffs that hold the caves where bats awake.
But often are the bat-cliffs bitter cold.
The peaks are steep; the lake-side damp and drear.
The seekers find that searching soon grows old,
Return, and say, “No-one could find it here.”
At this, the few who know the Opal found
Will smile still. They know it’s still around.
What else is power for, except to fall
And warp the natural order to my will?
From lakes I'd make a moat; from stones a wall.
Hearts, chain with love and hate, to hold them still.
What else are words, except a way to lie?
I name the need, then think the deed is done;
I call my half-attempted work a "try",
Then ask for hands to hold the tools I shun.
What else is choice, except excuse for pain?
"Here sacrifice yourself, and win renown!"
"Turn back? You'll fade. Go on? You'll strive in vain."
"Choose which to lose: your heart, or head, or crown."
What else is life, except continued breath?
It's only everything that isn't death.